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AS THE Sultanate of Oman celebrated its 47th National Day on Nov 18, 2017, the past 47 years have seen a march towards development in Oman, through domestic development plans and programmes set out to achieve the royal directives.
These directives stem from Oman ruler Sultan Qaboos Bin Said's conviction in the fact that "nations cannot rise except through the efforts of the citizen who is the most important asset of the nation and the prime aim of its development".
On many occasions, Sultan Qaboos has reiterated that "development can be worthy of success only as far as it is able to achieve a decent life for individuals and society".
Today, it is laudable that these decades of development have achieved gigantic milestones in a variety of domains, including education, health, roads, electricity and water, telecommunications and other services that are extended to all governorates of the Sultanate without discrimination and wherever citizens might be.
Justice and balance have been two salient features of Oman's march towards development over the past years. Despite the slump in oil prices, Oman's financial and economic position is generally stable.
The government is going ahead with its developmental programmes, while at the same time providing an attractive environment for investments, encouraging investors, fostering partnerships with the private sector, supporting small and medium industries and enhancing Oman's rating in competitiveness indicators.
The government has adopted this year a new national programme called "Tanfeedh" (execution), which is the mainstay of the 9th Five Year Plan (2016-2020).
This programme reflects the government's awareness of the availability of many resources that can serve as an additional source of income from sectors such as tourism, agriculture and fisheries, and minerals - which altogether constitute the cornerstone of economic diversification for the country. These steps will eventually empower the Sultanate and enable it to increase the percentage of investments directed to projects of economic value, in addition to facilitating the geographical distribution of investments to benefit all its governorates.
Oman and Singapore celebrated two years ago, the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries, and we are witnessing a rising number of Singaporean companies which are working and interested to work in different economic sectors in Oman.
I am pleased to say that both countries have enjoyed friendly and cordial relations, and the ties between the two countries have grown closer, sharing many similarities and values that pave the way to close cooperation on trade, education, culture, tourism, investment and diplomacy.
With this special bilateral relationship and warm ties, I confirm once again that the links of friendship and cooperation between Oman and Singapore will continue and grow in accordance with the aspirations for progress and well-being of both nations.
Both countries have enjoyed friendly and cordial relations, and the ties between the two have grown closer. They share many similarities and values that pave the way to close cooperation on trade, education, culture, tourism, investment and diplomacy.